Recent happenings on the African continent, specifically in countries like Zimbabwe and Liberia prove that power can change hands peacefully, even democratically, in Africa.
Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, one of Africa’s longest-serving presidents came under the spotlight in December 2017 when army chief of staff at the time, Constantino Chiwenga, flexed his muscle, rudely indicating to his liberation-time comrade that he had “exaggeratedly” overstayed his welcome at the statehouse. The move was seen as a threat to Mugabe’s stay in power, something many thought might lead to an insurrection in the country. Fortunately, despite initial hesitation on Mugabe’s part, things got resolved in a classical peaceful denouement.
That Mugabe resigned as leader of Zimbabwe and Emerson Mnangagwa who was vice-president at the time, was sworn in as the new president of Zimbabwe, is more than good news and deserves to be highlighted not just once by Western media, but by everyone.
Even more interesting and worthy of praise is the recent democratic transition in Liberia. The presidential polls held in December 2017 saw the rise to power of an eminent African soccer icon, George Weah to become president.
We believe that if such positive examples are highlighted and amplified on all major media platforms around the world, perhaps other sitting African dictators like Paul Biya of Cameroon, Obiang Nguema Mbazogo of Equatorial Guinea, Idriss Deby Itno of Chad, and dictators elsewhere, might be inspired to emulate best practices elsewhere.
My plea here is that the Western media should explore and extol what positive news comes from the African continent in order to balance the sad and negative picture that is often painted of Africa.